By the time many of you are reading this, it will be Christmas Day. I am currently spending time with my family and my sister, who I visited last month, has returned the favor and come down to join us this month. I hope that all of you have a lovely Christmas Day with your loved ones. Even those of you who are not Christians or who do not celebrate this holiday might appreciate the day off from work and the general spirit of peace and friendliness that is an expected item of this season.
Every little kid is told you have to be good at least once or you won’t get ANY gifts. (This is one of the reasons peace and friendliness become so common this time of year, as many people clock in their last-minute acts of kindness. 😊) And the holidays are one of the few times of year when people lay off some of their disdain for talking about money. After all, we all know someone less fortunate than we are and this is a time of year when we reflect on it. Even in our own families, some people are able to afford more or nicer or newer gifts to give, while others simply give what they can. And I know in my own family there is never any jealousy, backstabbing, or pride about that. It doesn’t matter WHAT you get. It’s that someone cared enough to give you a sign of affection and love.
That’s what Christmas is all about—doing what you can, not competing with others, is what matters. Christ, whose birth is celebrated during this holiday, once praised a woman who was very poor. But she still gave the tiny amount that she was able—a mite, in fact—to the temple. He approved of her more than many who gave bigger gifts that meant little to them. Because for her, that tiny donation was a true sacrifice and a sign of her love for God.
During this season, churches offer chances to donate gifts to charities around town. Our church has a display for several charities with a Christmas tree for each one and every year we buy a little gift to give to a stranger--someone unknown. They need basic pajamas and personal care items, T-shirts and sports clothes for youth events, gift cards for supplies and food, winter clothes—and God. When people are cold and selfish to others, their chance to reflect God’s nature is lost. Instead, the less fortunate see a world that doesn’t care about them and a God who is far away. Deep inside, many of us feel we’re the “less fortunate” at times. Almost everyone knows someone who they think is doing better than they are. It’s hard to admit someone might see US as fortunate and it takes humility to accept that and give what we can even if we feel we are not doing as well as we’d like.
After all, this is a bad world. Nobody is doing as well as they should. Nobody is perfect. And nobody has an excuse not to care about the person next to them.
My book The Birthday Present is about a tough world (think post-apocalyptic) with a lot of income disparity. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost—especially when people you didn’t expect to be the good guys turn out to surprise you. 😊
Life after the apocalypse is supposed to be simple.
World collapse is absolutely bad news. A disaster of the worst order. And when it was generated by the rising of engineered mutants who created an autocracy whose sole purpose seems to be to trample on humans, it's inevitable that the world is filled with so many injustices you lose track of counting them on your fingers. Humans are also said to be extinct. And mutants are supposedly oppressors, never victims. Oh, and mutants are never out to get each other, only humans. In short, there can be a lot of assumptions about the distant future.
The one thing that is certain, though, is that some people in this bleak world have a lot more money than others. In this pair of novelettes, two girls (Lucy a human and Alyce a mutant) find themselves tangled up with the rich and famous of the millennium following ours. Lucy is a bubbly and reckless girl who befriends every boy she meets and Alyce is patient and tolerant to an extreme. But Lucy has a little nefarious scheme under her sleeve and Alyce, it seems, does have a limit to her patience after someone tries to kill her simply for being related to someone else.
I mean, who wouldn't get annoyed by that, right?
And there will be more updates.
Young Adult Fiction Writer
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